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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 3, 2011 1:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Bear and the Queensland floods - how's Owsley?


Wikipedia's webpage about Bear says he's a naturalized Australian citizen since 1996. Owsley Stanley lives with his wife in the bush of Far Northern Tropical Queensland. Bear's website is here. That's where I contacted him 16 months ago. We had a simple e-mail conversation and I posted about it. We discussed the formation of Alembic, Ron Wickersham's involvement, and when / how Ron left Ampex to form Alembic. Phil's Alembic bass guitar sound is legendary. Ron helped Grateful Dead improve their sound system. Grateful Dead used Ampex equipment for their early recordings. I also worked for Ampex, 1979 - 1984.

I haven't heard anything about Bear since then. Queensland is experiencing "biblical" flooding right now. Personally, I feel like I owe alot to Bear... like my career being taper, soundman, & pro-audio & pro-video tech for 30 years, just for starters. I have become increasingly concerned about Owsley's well-being these past several days. Can someone please do a welfare check on him and his family? Thanks!

Australia's `Biblical' Floods to Worsen as Waters Cut Off Queensland City
By Robert Fenner - Jan 3, 2011 6:00 AM MT - Bloomberg News

Flooding is set to worsen in the Australian state of Queensland in the next 48 hours, cutting off tens of thousands of people as the military is mobilized and cabinet recalled.

Rockhampton, home to 75,000 people about 500 kilometers (300 miles) north of the state capital Brisbane, will lose its last road access as the Fitzroy river reaches its forecast peak, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said yesterday. That will hamper military food supplies that are being flown into Mackay before being trucked the 330 kilometers south to the stricken city.

Towns across the nation’s third-most populous state have been evacuated, at least two people have died and mines have been shut as flooding spreads over an area the size of France and Germany, affecting 200,000 people. The Queensland cabinet will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss repairs to the damage that may cost more than A$1 billion ($1.02 billion).

“An enormous amount of the state has been inundated and devastated,” Bligh said. “The long-term impact will still take some time to determine but there are literally thousands of
Queenslanders who need our support.”

Rockhampton shut its airport to commercial jets after waters covered the runway, train links have been cut off and roads to the south and west of the city have been closed.

Black Hawk helicopters may be used for emergency evacuation and food drops in outlying areas, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.

“The main supply issue at the moment is in Rockhampton,” Gillard told reporters in Sydney. “Which is why that is the focus of the airlift.”

Bligh last week said the floods will cost “billions” as the state rebuilds roads and bridges, provides assistance for those who lose their homes as well as the loss of royalty payments from waterlogged mines.

The disaster is of “biblical proportions,” Treasurer Andrew Fraser said.

Weeks of rain destroyed cotton crops, halted coal deliveries, shut mines and prompted BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group to declare force majeure, a legal clause allowing them to miss contracted deliveries.

Operations remain suspended at the affected mines, Bruce Tobin, a spokesman for Rio Tinto, and Kelly Quirke, a BHP Billiton spokeswoman, said yesterday.

The body of a 38-year old man swept from his boat on the Boyne river was found yesterday while the day before a 41-year old woman’s body was recovered after her car was swept into a river at Burketown in the state’s northwest, state police said.

Flood alerts are in place for at least 10 rivers in Queensland after some regions recorded record rainfall during December, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

States of natural disaster have been declared in 41 of Queensland’s 73 municipalities covering about a million square kilometers.

New South Wales and Victoria, the nation’s most populous states, offered relief personnel to help with the flood response with 25 specialists being sent to help.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and the U.S. embassy have also offered assistance, Gillard said yesterday.

The federal government will provide payments of as much as A$1,000 per person for those that have lost their homes while grants of up to A$25,000 may be provided to small businesses and farmers.

The cash grants will help pay cleanup expenses and recovery costs including providing feed to stranded livestock while employers may be eligible for concessional loans of A$250,000, Gillard said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Fenner at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at

To get a better idea of how much raining & flooding is happening in Queensland, I Googled "queensland floods, record rain".

This post was modified by dead-head_Monte on 2011-01-03 21:02:18

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 3, 2011 1:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Bear and the Queensland floods - how's Owsley?

Some may recall the pics I posted from my visit to far northern Qnsld last May and June; most locals there are doing okay, as this is more or less "the norm" (not for parts of southern Qnsld; as an example, the rainforest of the York Pen., the little equator pointer portion of NE Australia, has areas that receive 8 meters of rain per yr [that's a lot, however you measure it]).

Not to diminish the issues for many, nonetheless, and I certainly echo your sentiments with respect to our meat-eating friend's current status (I will refrain from explanating [love that term, real or otherwise] the flash that went thru my mind when reading your subject line--my HS b-ball knickname was "Bear" both because of my affinity for the DEAD and my approach to the game, lg bulk, etc., etc.).

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 3, 2011 2:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Bear and the Queensland floods - how's Owsley?

When I think of "Bear" and "getting dosed"... well, for me, first thing I think about is that I was dosed maybe 250 to 300 times myself... not about torrential rains and flooding in Queensland where he lives nowadays.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jan 3, 2011 2:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Bear and the Queensland floods - how's Owsley?

naturally I feel bad anytime people get all messed up and lose their homes etc even if I have no connection to them - eg in this case respecting his role with one of my favorite bands/things in life.

having said all this - am I the ONLY one who finds this EXTREMELY ironic how he was rabid to get everyone to move to Australia - light years of the current climate change/global warming whatever you want to call it topic.

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Jan 3, 2011 8:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Bear and the Queensland floods - how's Owsley?

Maybe Bear's full name is ManBearPig.

Al Gore tried to warn us.

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 3, 2011 8:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Bear and the Queensland floods - how's Owsley?

It sounds like you're referring to Bruce Eisner's interview with Owsley in 1997, right? Bear had e-mailed him out of the blue. Eisner claims Bear wanted to pick bones with him about a 1977 article Eisner wrote, “LSD Purity: Cleanliness is Next to Godheadlines.” (That was the High Times editor’s title, not Eisner's. It was first published in January 1977.)

Then Bear agreed to the 1997 interview with Eisner, for Psychedelic Island Views. It's a publication of Island Foundation. It claims a very limited circulation of about 4,000. The actual interview was conducted by telephone. Bear was living with his second wife and children from that marriage on a homesteaded piece of land off the energy grid somewhere in Queensland, Australia. The interview carried on for over 4 ½ hours and has been carefully edited and re-edited. The first portion of the interview was published in two installments in Psychedelic Island Views. This link is part three - it's a PDF file.

Search the PDF document for "global warming". You'll notice on the bottom of page 9 that Eisner says, "You have some ideas about ecology and global warming that's different than the popular wisdom." Bear goes into his rap from here. He's says a lot of stuff at this point. It's very controversial stuff. I disagree with some of his points. I recommend you read it for yourself.

Bear argues about global temperature measurements and the ways that temperatures are quantified. I disagree with his "technicality" here. The Earth is warming, period. CO2 levels were at about 365 ppm in 1997 when they interviewed. Today CO2 levels have risen to 390 ppm.

atmospheric CO2 levels in parts per million (ppm)

Over the past 50 years Earth's oceans have absorbed 22 times as much heat as has the Earth's atmosphere. The heat of the last half-century has built up in the oceans. It’s the accelerated evaporation off of warm oceans that drives the heavy rains.. And a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor. For each 1° C it heats up, it holds 7% more water vapor. Over the U.S., since 1970, rains have gone up only 7%. But the 2-inches-a-day rains have gone up 14%. The 4-inches-a-day rains have gone up 20%. The 6-inches-a-day rains have gone up 27%.

2010 had extreme weather. In Niger, first a severe drought threatened widespread famine, then floods left more than 100,000 homeless. Flooding in Pakistan submerged 20% of the country. Deadly floods and mudslides killed thousands in China, India, Venezuela, Indonesia and many other countries. Russia had a record heat wave & wildfires that left 15,000 people dead. Europe has had heavy snow and blizzards that threw air traffic into turmoil. USA saw freak snowstorms and more air traffic turmoil - not to mention the flooding in Nashville. We just had extremely rare tornadoes the other day. Now Queensland is getting it where Owsley lives. 18 countries broke their records for the hottest day ever. In fact, 2010 may go down as the hottest on record worldwide, this according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Pest infestations have worsened. The bark beetle and longhorn beetle are destroying our forests. Pollen has increased due to the increase in CO2 levels. This increased pollen is causing an alarming increase in asthma rates. In Alaska and points north of your place the tundra is melting quickly. Warming is on fast track there. Glaciers and polar ice caps are melting faster.

Bear and I agree that Cap and Trade sucks, and it's a big scam for Wall Street and bankers. Cap and Trade hadn't yet hit the mainstream radar screens in 1997. Bear thinks the greenhouse effect and global warming are good. Yes, life on Earth as we know it depends upon this fact. But Owsley says that burning fossil fuels to increase CO2 levels was "probably the best thing man has ever done." Many scientists, environmentalists, and myself believe the opposite of what Bear says is true. We believe too much increases of man-made CO2 levels will cause a runaway greenhouse effect in our atmosphere. This leads to a dramatically warmer climate. We fear the consequences of too much positive feedback in our climate system. We're seeing too much increasing CO2 levels happening too quickly. Observations show us that climate change dilemmas are happening way too quickly now. It's affecting huge amounts of human populations. That's why I believe all fossil fuels should be taxed now -- at their sources -- at all the mines, refineries, and all their production facilities.

Bear and I agree when he said that the nuclear industry stands to gain big-time. I think nuclear accidents and nuclear waste are huge problems for mankind. Bear said the rich are getting richer. I strongly agree with that. His interview is quite extraordinary.

This post was modified by dead-head_Monte on 2011-01-04 04:04:39

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jan 4, 2011 8:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Bear and the Queensland floods - how's Owsley?

no I was referring to a David Gans interview that way predates that one as well as it was well known in the late 70's that Owsley was heavily warning anyone he could about rising ocean levels and it being safer in the southern hemisphere which scientists have also claimed I've read. On 7-8-78 Red Rocks right before Estimated Weir says " I'm moving to Austrailis" NO idea if it's related to that or not but considering I heard he was quite on a kick with his insistance ( kind of like the meat thing ) then I always assumed that's what that meant.